It accuses AIMIM of splitting minority votes by ‘heightening communal tensions’ ahead of U.P. Assembly polls
The Shiv Sena has lashed out at All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi for allegedly heightening communal tensions ahead of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections slated next year. It said he was nothing but a “behind the scene facilitator” of the BJP and of the saffron party’s successful political journey in the country.
In its mouthpiece Saamana, the Sena, which shares power in Maharashtra with the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Congress, came down heavily on Mr. Owaisi’s ‘provocative’ speeches during the latter’s campaigning in U.P., wherein slogans of ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ were allegedly raised by his supporters.
The Sena accused him and his party of functioning as a BJP’s contract team, whose objective was to split Muslim votes, thus helping the saffron party to coast to victory there.
“With Assembly elections fast approaching in Uttar Pradesh, it appears Owaisi, who has long been a facilitator for the BJP, has made all preparations to raise communal and religious tensions there. Can’t the BJP’s politics progress without using Pakistan’s name?” stated the article. It noted that the Muslim community today did not accept politicians like Mr. Owaisi as their leaders.
The Sena cast aspersions on the ‘political mission’ of Mr. Owaisi and the AIMIM. “How is it that when Owaisi comes to U.P. on the eve of polls, his supporters begin chanting provocative ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ slogans when there is no record of any such sloganeering prior to this…These gentlemen are roaming the country stridently reiterating the theme of alleged injustice against Muslims. But someone else is sponsoring their politics. The Muslim community in the country has become wise today… their voters is now beginning to understand what is in his best interests and they are not ready to consider people like Owaisi as their leaders and refuse accordingly to be swayed,” it observed.
Following its alliance with the ideologically opposed NCP and the Congress in the State, the Sena itself has had a tough time defending charges from its estranged partner, the BJP, which has been accusing it of turning its back on ‘Hindutva’.
Candidates in U.P.
Sena chief spokesperson Sanjay Raut recently said the party planned to field candidates in around 80-100 seats in the U.P. (which has a 403- member Assembly) poll.
The Sena claimed that the AIMIM had deployed a similar strategy of social divisiveness in the West Bengal and Bihar polls. While it failed in Bengal, the plan wrecked the election for Rashtriya Janata Party (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav, who lost the crucial election by a narrow margin.
“If Owaisi had not preached his politics of bigotry in Bihar, Tejashwi Yadav would have been holding the reins of power today,” rued the article. It remarked that Mr. Owaisi would forever remain a puppet of the BJP unless he had the courage to tell the Muslim community to join the country’s mainstream and abide by the Constitution, while warning that leaders like him, who had been “groomed” to play roles on behalf of certain parties, had perished soon.
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